Corona/Covid-19 - FAQ for PhD students

Find out what Covid-19 guidelines you need to follow as an AU employee on the corona page for staff members or as a PhD student enrolled on a flexible PhD programme, part A in the FAQ for students 

PhD study

Am I expected to work from home?

As AU staff members, PhD students may now begin gradually returning to work on the university’s premises.

It is up to management at the local level to assess how best to handle this gradual normalisation. You will receive more information from your supervisor about how the revised guidance on remote work will affect you and your work.

Covid-19 guidelines for behaviour on campus

See the latest announcement from the university management

PhD courses

PhD courses

PhD courses which have already been converted to online formats will take place online. After 1 February, PhD courses, defences and other PhD-related research activities will take place in person, barring unforeseen circumstances.

If it becomes necessary to reschedule PhD courses and PhD defences online after 1 February, for example in the event of a local spike in Covid infection rates, this decision will be made by the head of the graduate school in question in collaboration with the relevant PhD programme directors and the responsible research group leaders.

Enrolment period

Can I get an extension of my PhD project?

AU has decided on a joint procedure for handling the challenges you as a PhD student are facing in relation to completing your PhD project as a direct consequence of COVID-19, including the physical lockdown of AU.

The joint procedure is based on the political agreements on the phased reopening of the country, in addition to the Circular on the agreement on the possibility of extending temporary employment contracts, as a consequence of delays occurring in connection with COVID-19 (in Danish)

The objective of the procedure is to ensure a common point of departure for all PhD students at AU, while at the same time granting the individual graduate school the flexibility to handle the challenges in individual students’ PhD projects in the most appropriate way.

Your application for extension will be processed on the basis of an individual, specific assessment. The assessment will be carried out by the graduate school management at your graduate school on the basis of the school's guidelines. The graduate school management will make the final decision in the case. 

The joint procedure applies to PhD students whose progress has been directly affected by COVID-19:

  • AU must ensure that enrolled PhD students are able to finish their PhDs, and that the quality of the PhD project lives up to applicable academic requirements for a PhD. 
  • A delay in progress towards the PhD degree must be a direct consequence of COVID-19, including the periods of physical lockdown of AU. 
  • All PhD projects that are or may be delayed because of the COVID-19-situation must be considered individually and through individual dialogue with the principal supervisor. Furthermore, the PhD programme directors and head of departments/employer must make a statement. 
  • In the evaluation of the extension, every effort must be made to adjust the individual PhD project so as to allow the PhD student to complete their project as planned. 
  • If the PhD project cannot be completed without an extension of the deadline, the amount of additional time to be granted must be calculated on an individual basis. 
  • The nature of the delay in the PhD project must be described in the application for extension.

On what grounds can I apply for an extension of my PhD project?

You can apply for an extension if your PhD project has been delayed as a direct consequence of COVID-19, including the periods when AU’s campuses have been shut down.

Can I apply for an extension more than one time?

It is possible to apply for an extension of your PhD project more than one time if the situation on the background of which you applied last time has changed.

Can I apply for an extension without having funding for the extension?

Funding is not a prerequisite for applying for an extension. Your application will be assessed on an individual basis, and the head of the graduate school will make a decision in the case.

How can I apply for an extension of my PhD project?

  • The application must be sent to your graduate school. The head of the graduate school will make a decision in each case. Please do not send applications directly to the head of your graduate school.
  • The nature of the delay in the PhD project must be described in short and precise terms.
  • The effort made to adjust the PhD project must be described in short and precise terms. 
  • The application must be discussed with your principal supervisor. Furthermore, the PhD programme directors and/or head of departments/employer must make a statement. 

To apply for an extension of your PhD programme, see the websites of the individual graduate schools:

PhD defense

PhD defense

In the month of January, most PhD defences will be converted to online formats. However, there may be exceptions; in some cases, considerations of content and quality may speak in favour of in-person defences. Please, contact your graduate school for more information.

Change of research environment/study period abroad

What are the current guidelines for travels out of Denmark?

Aarhus University is adhering to the authorities’ guidelines for travel to Denmark: https://coronasmitte.dk/en/entry-into-denmark as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s travel guidelines. The guidelines are continually being updated, in response to developments in the pandemic and updates to travel restrictions.

We ask all employees to comply with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s advice to travellers to exercise extra vigilance, stay informed and follow all Covid-19 travel guidance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


For information targeted the university's international staff, please visit the following website: Coronavirus/covid-19 information for international staff at AU.

I am doing research/studying abroad. Am I insured during the COVID-19 situation?

If you were given an insurance card from Aarhus University before the start of your stay abroad, you can find information on the current rules on the Staff website about Trips and stays abroad.   

Entry requirements to Denmark for international PhD students

I am an international PhD student at AU with a work and residence permit in Denmark. What are the consequences of the COVID-19 situation for me?

The corona page for international academic staff (IAS) has answers to a number of questions about entry into and residence in Denmark in relation to the corona situation. See Coronavirus/covid-19 information for international staff at AU